The Nokia 5233 is essentially a stripped down version of the Nokia 5800. Well that is true up to a certain extent as some of the hardware has been downgraded for this device, while others remains as they are.

Let’s look at the software on the 5233 first before we jump to music and battery.


The Nokia 5233 runs on Symbian S60 5th edition. The version however has been tweaked for the 5233 as it does not have 3G, GPS and WiFi. This means that those modules are not available in the ‘Settings’ of the phone.

Apart from this the homescreen on the 5233 has certainly undergone change. The side scrolling contacts shortcut bar in Active Standby mode now supports up to 20 contacts, this means you can add up to 20 people who you call or interact with most often. Each contact card contains the last 6 interactions with that person. In addition to that you can directly SMS, call or check their website’s RSS feed. This makes the contacts shortcut a very handy and must have feature on this device.

The 5233 is pretty much identical to the 5800 and works in the same manner as well. Typing an SMS in portrait mode brings up the number pad and tilt it to landscape mode will bring up the QWERTY mode. The two square icons below for contacts and telephone have been replaced by a shortcut menu bar which allows you to list 4 of the most used apps on your device. Below that are the dialing pad, labeled ‘Telephone’ and the ‘Contacts’ soft keys. This little change means that the homescreen layout is not only cleaner but also more usable. We wish that the application shortcuts would also be scrollable like the Contacts shortcut bar on top. We also wish the icons were a bit smaller, or atleast an option was available to make it smaller.

Since this is a Xpressmusic device, you will find a square on the top right side, above the screen. This is a soft touch button which lets you access some additional apps. This is the one place where the transitions on the device are great. Transitions on the device otherwise are slow and the lag is quite noticeable. We wish the device had been given more RAM, as it clealry seems to be gasping a bit at times.

The 5233 does not disappoint in terms of features, but the OS does seem to look dated and is missing some of the freshness that the other touchscreen phones have. I’d rate the OS at 7/10. A good OS and a lot of goodies in it, but unfortunately does not look youthful enough, even with the themes.


Music is what this device is meant to be used for. An Xpressmusic device is supposed to be one of the best in terms of music. This entry level touchscreen does not disappoint in the above department. Music is the USP of this device. With the launch of Ovi Music Store in India, a user can not only listen to his favourite songs but also download songs from the internet and that too legally. To get owners started, Nokia has bundled a 10 track voucher with this device. All you need to do is go to the Ovi Music Store, enter the PIN and start downloading your favorite track.

The music player on this device is that same that is found on all S60 5th edition devices. It’s simply too boring and urgently needs to look more modern. On the flip side, it is still one of the best in terms of customization when it comes to the equalizer. Nokia also put in a dedicated sound chip, this means that it will sound as good as that 5800 when it comes to music! The speaker takes a hit though, the 5233 has a mono speaker so don’t expect it to ‘rock’ you without earphones.

FM radio is available in case you want to tune into the radio station to listen to some music also. POD casting also is available, so you can download your podcast OTA and listen to them.

The music aspect is the cornerstone of the Xpressmusic series and the 5233 will not disappoint one bit when it comes to giving you great music output.

I’ll rate the music aspect at 8/10. Great music capabilities, 3.5mm audio jack, FM and Pod casting make this a great music device. The looks of the music player will however make you feel as if you are using your grandfather’s phone.


The battery life on the 5233 is one of the best for a touchscreen phone in the price range. The Samsung Corby as really bad battery life in comparison to the 5233, which delivers exceptionally good battery life. One can easily look at getting 2 days out of the phone with moderate to heavy usage from the BL-5J, 3.7V 1320mAh battery. If you are a very heavy user – read as lots of internet browsing and downloading, music, applications and calls expect it to last a day and a half at max. Those might sound that good, but trust me it is great! if you are a light user and don’t do too many calls and listen to music for about 2-3 hours in a day and don’t use the internet too often, you can easily be looking at 3 days. Those according to me are very good figures and really make the 5233 is a very good performer in terms of battery life.

I’ll rate the 5233 a solid 9.5/10. Great battery life with good talk time and standby rating. S60 5th edition’s power management implementation by Nokia is at it’s best.

Stay tuned as I wrap up the 5233 review in my next post where we will cover the Internet experience, Camera, Ovi Store and Accessories. Stay tuned!!!

If you think I forgot something or if you wish to add more to this review or even ask something please feel free to get hold of me on twitter – @adityasinghvi

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